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Europe > Russia > Central Russia > Moscow Oblast

Moscow Oblast

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Moscow Oblast is the region surrounding the city of Moscow in the heart of Central Russia. For this proximity to the capital of Russia Moscow Oblast is often called Podmoskovie (Russian: Подмосковье, Pohd-mohs-KOH-vie).

The region borders Kaluga Oblast to the southwest, Smolensk Oblast to the west,Tver Oblast to the north, Yaroslavl Oblast to the northeast, Vladimir Oblast to the east, Ryazan Oblast to the southeast, and Tula Oblast to the south.

Podmoskovie is easily accessible from Moscow and while staying in the metropolis you may always dedicate a day or two to explore the neighbouring region's attractions. Moscow Oblast can be worth a longer visit as well, offering a variety of historical cities, natural sights, and leisure opportunities.

Regions[edit]

Map of Moscow Oblast

Cities[edit]

  • 1 Moscow — the massive megalopolis that is the capital and principal city of Russia contains within it everything
  • 2 Dmitrov — a large, old town, famous for its beautiful kremlin
  • 3 Klin — a small city best known as the former residence of Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky; the manor where he composed Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker is now a museum
  • 4 Kolomna — a city nearly 900 years old, with its own kremlin and the oldest church in Moscow Oblast, the Church of St John the Baptist (14th century)
  • 5 Monino Monino on Wikipedia — a town famous for its Central Air Force Museum, one of the world's largest aviation museums
  • 6 Podolsk — a major industrial city and the largest in Moscow Oblast; former location of Lenin's country estate
  • 7 Sergiev Posad — home to the Trinity Monastery of Saint Sergius, the spiritual center of the Russian Orthodox Church
  • 8 Serpukhov — an old city to the south of Moscow, which has its own kremlin, Vysotsky Monastery, and Vladychny Convent
  • 9 Zvenigorod — a small town with its own kremlin, which contains the wonderfully preserved Saviour Cathedral (1399) and its interior frescoes by Russia's greatest painter Andrei Rublev, as well as the Savvino-Storozhevsky Monastery and some extravagant 19th century dachas

Other destinations[edit]

  • 1 Abramtsevo Abramtsevo Colony on Wikipedia
  • 2 Arkhangelskoe Arkhangelskoye Palace on Wikipedia
  • 3 Gorki Leninskiye Gorki Leninskiye on Wikipedia — an 18th century noble estate, nationalized for Lenin's use as a dacha; Lenin spent his last years here as his health deteriorated and the estate is now a large museum in his memory
  • 4 Melikhovo Melikhovo on Wikipedia — Chekhov's countryside estate-museum, where he wrote much of his best works
  • 5 Prioksko-Terrasny Nature Reserve Prioksko-Terrasny Nature Reserve on Wikipedia
  • 6 Losiny Ostrov National Park Losiny Ostrov National Park on Wikipedia

Understand[edit]

Moscow Oblast is the economic and political heart of Russia and is by far its most populous oblast—excluding the city of Moscow itself, the region has approximately seven million residents. Destinations in the region are easily accessible by day trips from Moscow and have an extraordinary amount of sightseeing for the interested traveller.

On 1 July 2012, a significant chunk of the Moscow region, including the towns of Troitsk and Moskovsky, Kievskyi settlement and stretching out all the way to Kaluga region was re-designated as part of Moscow itself. While this has not affected the character of the territory immediately, they will inevitably be integrated more and more into the city, thus making this area a unique tourist destination to see still (almost) rural places right before they urbanize.

Moscow Oblast is in the UTC+3 time zone.

Talk[edit]

Within Moscow Oblast, more English and other European languages are spoken than in most of Russia, but travelers should still consider familiarizing themselves with some key Russian phrases.

Moscow Oblast lacks any signs using the Roman (as opposed to Cyrillic) alphabet, except the signs on some major highways. Even there, expect to find differing titles of the same place. For instance, while driving you can see signs dispalying "Moscow", "Moskow" and "Moskva" within a short distance.

Get in[edit]

Moscow Oblast map.png

In most cases travelling to the Moscow Oblast is done via the transport hub of the city of Moscow.

By plane[edit]

The airports of Moscow with international flights are located either inside Moscow Oblast or in the outer parts of Moscow proper and have direct bus or commuter train (elektrichka) connections with the cities of Podmoskovie, as following:

  • From 1 Domodedovo airport - elektrichka to Moscow goes through the cities of Domodedovo and Vidnoe (Aeroexpress trains proceed directly to Moscow without any stops).
  • From 2 Sheremetyevo airport - bus 21 or 48 to the town of Lobnya, bus 38 to the city of Dolgoprudny, bus 41 or 43 to the city of Khimki.
  • From 3 Vnukovo airport Vnukovo International Airport on Wikipedia - bus 1043 to the town of Odintsovo or connections with Kiev railway: 1043 to Vnukovo station, 32 to Tolstopalcevo, 878 to Kokoshkino.

If you want to get to any other part of Podmoskovie from the airports - hire a taxi or proceed through Moscow.

By train[edit]

There are three kinds of local commuter trains operating from Moscow to Moscow Oblast and neighbouring regions:

Both express and sputnik trains are further divided by brands. The major brands are following:

  • Original Sputnik trains. Those were first expresses in Moscow Oblast and hence have given colloquial name to all short-ranged expresses. Typically but not always served by 6- or 8-wagon trains of yellowish color with 6 doors each.
  • Aeroexpresses serve airports and typically don't stop in Moscow Oblast. They are also more expensive.
  • Various named expresses serving long-range destinations like Fedor Chizhov to Alexandrov. Some expresses may continue quite further beyond Podmoskovie (to Tver and Yaroslavl for example) and still serve cities of Moscow Oblast.
  • "Expresses REX" are one of more common types of the above, with typical blue coloring and picture of a dog. They serve both short-range and long-range destinations.
  • Latest appearing brand are "Lastochkas", using red-colored trains, produced by Siemens AG. They now serve Khimki, Solnechnogorsk, Mozhaysk, Orehovo-Zuevo, Klin and Serpukhov, with trains bound to Zelenograd, Tver, Nizhny Novgorod, Smolensk, Oryol and Kursk.

Multiple types of expresses may be confusing, especially as brand, serving particular destination, may change with time. While not typical, train, using specific brand coloring, may serve destination of other brand, or - for older types - even run as a simple elektrichka. You may need to check particular type of train using timetables or asking locals in such situations.

When you're trying to buy a ticket, both from ticket office and from vending machine, you usually should know exactly, which kind of express you're boarding, especially with Lastochkas. Ask for help or opt for ticket office when unsure. Pricing and discounts are different for different types of expresses.

Although your destination will be within Moscow Oblast, if the express is bound outside Moscow Oblast, you will need to provide your passport to buy a ticket (this rule is enforced in Russia everywhere). Tickets for expresses bound outside Moscow Oblast are also unavailable from vending machines for local trains (which do not require your passport).

Long-distance trains in most cases have no stops in Podmoskovie. The only large stop for long-distance trains in the region is Ozherelye for south-bound trains from Moscow and Saint-Petersburg. Volokolamsk and Mozhaisk may have 1 or 2 trains in each direction daily.

By bus[edit]

Primary bus operator for Podmoskovje is Mostransauto. There are some routes, serviced by commercial operators and Mosgortrans (Moscow-city public transport operator), almost all of those connect Moscow with its suburbs (see complete official route list of all operators). Mostransauto however covers the region with extensive network of bus routes (and couple of tram and trolleybus systems), that would satisfy needs of almost all travellers.

  • For most routes service ends about 22:00-23:00 or earlier. Major exceptions are buses to New Moscow (working as part of city network now until about 01:00) and some particular buses to nearest suburbs (but don't get your hopes up too much for them).
  • Most plentiful buses connect Moscow with any little corner of the Moscow region - typically with largest cities though, but not only district centers. Those buses have numbers 300-499, 1021-1077 for Mostransauto routes, and 500-599,1001-1004 for Mosgortrans routes (numbers over 1000 are for buses serving New Moscow, though many 5xx and some 3xx and 4xx serve New Moscow also, sometimes without oblast at all). These buses have a common trait of getting in jams in vicinity of the city. Two rules of thumb for determining where a jam will be (except traffic accident jams, where a navigator would help): most jams start from Moscow and ends at largest neighbouring cities, to the point that there wouldn't be a jam, if next cities are not so big or close. Secondly, time for jams is extended (with respect to what you'd think normally) rush hour. Malls add to jams on weekends as well. Skipping those jams with local trains may be tricky because of the distance between railways and highways. If you'd pursue this route, either check particular direction, or just go maximum of the route by train, and then most probably there'll be a connecting bus (if your destination is major, that is). Another trait is that they are starting at numerous locations in Moscow, check official site for details. Most buses just connect with the nearest metro stations though.
  • Another bulk of buses would just connect whatever location with closest railway station (or sometimes large city). Most of those buses run within district (with numbers in 21-99) or city bounds (numbers 1-20). The network is significantly geared towards this configurations, due to the considerations about jams above; to the point, that next category of buses, running between districts in horde direction is significantly smaller and harder to find (except when they connect a city without railway to nearest railway station). Basically when planning your route you have to have a railway network routes in mind and understand that you're unlikely to get from one radius to the next one unless you know your timetable exactly.
  • There are trolleybuses in Khimki, Podolsk and Vidnoe and trams in Kolomna. The single tram line in Noginsk is out of service since June 2013, and despite proposed plans reopening is unlikely.
  • Flagging. Generally not working in cities (except minibuses), and may often work outside cities. Usually depends. Your best bet is always to get to the stop, at least if it's not far. Some long-running buses (especially 3xx-5xx) would not stop on every stop, so you need to know exactly, where to catch them.
  • Rates for buses are divided into regulated and non-regulated rates. They have following traits:
    • Buses with regulated rates may have a plank with route number shown in black or electronic display only. Regulated rates as of 2016, are:
      • 43 руб per ride within city + 4 руб per each 2.5 km (1.6 mi) starting from 5 km (3.1 mi) for intercity (up to about 120 руб for longer distances):
      • Pre-paid card "Strelka" gives about 13 руб discount for each ride;
      • Routes, listed here, have different rates for intercity directions.
    • Buses with non-regulated rates would always have a plastic plank in front of then with route number shown in red. Almost all routes bound to "Old" Moscow use non-regulated rates, as well as most commercial operators and most minibuses. Non-regulated rates are usually 10-50% higher than regulated rates, as a rule of thumb. They are also less dependent over distance, up to single rate for several intercity directions;
    • Useful phrases when asking for the rate in the bus: "по городу" (pah-GOU-ruh-duh, within city), if your start and destination are within city bounds; "до конца" (dah-kuhn-TSAH, to the end), if you intend to ride the bus to the end stop. Otherwise it is wise to know the name of your exact destination beforehand.

By car[edit]

Get around[edit]

In general, the most efficient means of public transport in the region is the network of suburban electric rail, called elektrichki (электрички, eh-lehk-TREECH-kee), which radiates outwards from the capital. Elektrichki depart from the main Moscow rail stations. Detailed and up-to-date suburban train timetables (including frequent changes) are available online in Russian. For point-to-point travel between cities and towns besides Moscow, buses and minibuses (marshrutki) are usually the best public transport option. Extensive information on routes and timetables of buses and minibuses, as well as routes of trams and trolleybuses in the Moscow region (in Russian), however it does not cover commercial operators, which can be a good alternative in many directions.

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Eat[edit]

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Stay safe[edit]

Go next[edit]

Moscow Oblast is the biggest central hub for Russia in its entirety; you can get to anywhere in Russia from here. Some nearby popular destinations include the cities of the Golden Ring, Saint Petersburg, and Novgorod.

This region travel guide to Moscow Oblast is an outline and may need more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. If there are Cities and Other destinations listed, they may not all be at usable status or there may not be a valid regional structure and a "Get in" section describing all of the typical ways to get here. Please plunge forward and help it grow!